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A reflection of my life

by Lawrence Edward Hinchee about a year ago in family
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My memories of life

Reflections Of My Life

Reflections of my life was a Vietnam era song sung by the Marmalades. It was one of my favorite songs and still is. This song states that moonlight to sunrise that there are reflections of my life. But as I have aged I too am beginning to reflect on my life and what it has been. I am sixty years old, but the artist singing this song wrote it when he was fifteen.

As I look back on my life, I see I have made some really bad decisions but lived with the consequences of those decisions. I told myself I wasn't getting married until I graduated college. I was married while in college and my grades suffered for it as well as my career. I got married when in reality I shouldn't have because I am gay. Was it fair to use her to try to prove I wasn't gay. But I honored my commitment not until death but until the children were grown. Now I have a boyfriend and life is great. But my granddaughter is gay, so I need to be a positive role model for her.

Another area I reflect on is my military service. I reenlisted for six years, but when I became injured the Army wouldn't reassign me to a job I wanted, so I took the discharge option. Now looking back I wished I had fought harder for my career. In a way I pissed that career away, but getting injured wasn't part of my plan. When I returned home, it seemed only natural that I go to college. But in reflecting back on that decision it wasn't the best idea. Now like millions of Americans I am saddled with a huge debt that I can't pay. My degree had me working in my career field for three years, my masters degree cost me $65,000 with nothing to show for it. My minor in college provided more income and benefits for my family than my major did.

I often look back on my times as a husband and a father. I ask myself did I make the best decisions for my children. Was I a good enough spouse, and the answer to that was no because as a gay man I couldn't help my urges and they had to be sated. In reality I shouldn't have married and had children, but then I wouldn't have four beautiful grandchildren. I put my children first ahead of my career which maybe I should have reversed that order. I was always volunteering to be my children's adult scout leaders, soccer coach whatever was needed, I did.

I look back at the mistakes I made with my life and ask why did I make them. Maybe at the time it was bad decision making or perhaps something else, but did I learn from them and often times the answer was yes. I also look back at the times I have helped many people. My friends who were of color and had no place to live, we allowed them to live with us and they ate meals with us. Many times we allowed the kids who weren't getting a proper meal at home to eat with us, we always had plenty. Being from the south that's how we were.

I do look back on whether living in Denver, CO as opposed to Roanoke, VA was a good idea. I lost a lot of precious time with my beautiful grandparents. My children did know who their great grandparents were, but I feel we robbed them of quality time. Two weeks a year in my opinion was not enough time for them to enjoy their time with them.

My uncle who suffered burns over eighty percent of his body from being shot down in Vietnam had a different take on this song. He suffered from survivors guilt, PTSD and had to undergo so many painful skin grafts to debris the wounds. He said this song was the tell all of Vietnam for it's veterans. For me at the age of seven after I was told and started throwing whatever I could, I had to be sedated. This uncle was fourteen when I was born so I was really close to him. That is why I love this song, my uncle passed away in 1997 at the age of fifty. It to me is a tribute to his life and sacrifice to an ungrateful nation.


About the author

Lawrence Edward Hinchee

I am a new author. I wrote my memoir Silent Cries and it is available on I am new to writing and most of my writing has been for academia. I possess an MBA from Regis University in Denver, CO. I reside in Roanoke, VA.

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